Picture the scene. It’s a full house – the bar is packed with a lively audience on the edge of their seats, patiently awaiting the news as to who has won the lucky draw. The number is called out, but no one answers. The number is called out again, alas, maybe the winner is on a smoke break… It’s too late for him or her, however. The crowd is happy though, there’s another chance to win. Another number is called, there’s a short silence, and then all of a sudden, a voice cries and a hand shoots up at the back. The crowd shares the enthusiasm, cheering and applauding the winner as he makes his way to the front to receive his prize. There’s a positive vibe amongst the audience, brought about by an evening of engaging talks, suspenseful (and pretty competitive!) lucky prize draws, and maybe the discount/ buy-one-get-one-free drinks that everyone’s enjoying.

The audience awaits the announcement of their numbers!

Held at the Armoury, a jazzy craft beer bar in the heart of Singapore, UW360’s bi-monthly Divers’ Party saw a hundred and fifty people gather for an evening of entertainment. From dive enthusiasts, to professionals, operators and even conservationists, there was a range of individuals who came along to enjoy the evening’s events, to catch up with others in the community, and to get their hands on some awesome prizes.

Each registered guest received a great offer – 10% off all food, happy hour priced drinks and buy-one-get-one-free deals for Tiger and Fourpure beer, as well as the house pours. They also got a wrist tag with a number, and some of the lucky ones had those digits called out… Those who registered also received complimentary copies of Scuba Diver Oceanplanet 2017 and Asian Diver’s Diveaholic 2017.

registering front
Registering at the front entrance

The evening kicked off with an introduction about the UW360 group – the award-winning titles we publish, Asian Diver and Scuba Diver – followed by a brief about the four speakers delivering presentations: Jonathan Chong, Glenn Yong, Jeroen Van de Waal and Andrew Lim.

Jonathan Chong, a freediving champion and founder of the Apnea Association of Singapore, communicated his passion for the sport to the audience. He also talked about his philosophical view of freediving as a tool for understanding oneself and overcoming inner barriers. He tried to levy some new recruits from the crowd, within which there were quite a few adventurous types who expressed interest… Jonathan was kind enough to present four vouches for free freediving tryouts to members of the audience.

Jonathan delivers his presentation and inspires people to try out freediving

Next, we had Glenn Yong, recently accredited as a Master Photographer in the United Kingdom. Glenn stunned the audience with his superb images of stunning details and colours, primarily those he took on assignments in the past year. His video footage took people aback as well, with many gasps heard from within the crowd and various individuals thinking out loud as to their ideas about what equipment he was using. Glenn answered all their queries in the Q&A, and also shared a few quips which got people laughing!

Glenn Yong talks about his photos and footage

Jeroen’s presentation took the audience on a story of his life: Falling in love with the oceans despite growing up far away from them in the east of the Netherlands: Getting caught up in the corporate rat race: And finally committing to his ocean-conservation dream, setting up OrcaScuba. He finished by expounding an important message about conservation, and how it is up to us as individuals to bring about that change rather than waiting on governments.

Jeroen Van de Waal delivers a call to action – it's up to individuals to make a change!

Lastly, we had Andrew Lim – an underwater photographer who published his first book at 21 and met the President of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan, in recognition for his achievements. He spoke about his work with Drewperspectives, a Singaporean-based underwater photography firm, as well as his spectacular photos. The underwater photos of models intrigued the audience, and Andrew espoused about the details of taking such shots – not to mention the challenge of holding one’s breath while doing so. He was happy to report that he can now hold his breath for four minutes compared to one minute when he first began!

Andrew talks about the challenges of his job and intrigues the audience with his images

Following from their presentations, the speakers stayed on stage for the lucky draw, picking out the tickets and announcing the winners. There were four categories for the lucky draw, which each taking place after each presentation.

Some of the winners of the lucky draw, categories 1-3

The Grand Draw – as the name would suggest – was the most sought after. Here were the prizes offered in the Grand Draw:

  • A 1N stay with return ferry transfers at Fitzroy Island Resort: Worth $650: Sponsored by Fitzroy Island Resort
  • 3D2N full board resort stay for two: Worth $850: Sponsored by Summer Bay Lang Tengah
  • Ratio Dive Computer: Worth $1,400: Sponsored by Ratio
  • 2D1N Liveaboard trip for two on the MV Kangaroo Explorer: Worth $1,600: Sponsored by Cairns Dive Centre

Winners of the Grand Draw: prizes handed out by Andrew Lim

A big thank you to the speakers, and congratulations to all the lucky winners! It was a fun and action-packed evening. Stay tuned to news about UW360’s upcoming events and hope to see you all the next divers’ party!

The audience at The Armoury

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